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PostSubject: Android Hit By Virus-Infested Apps   Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:12 pm

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Google has been forced to withdraw more than 50 virus-infected apps from the official Android Market.

Studies have found that the dodgy applications have been downloaded between 50,000 and 200,000 times, after they had been repackaged with a code that corrupted them.

Google Android is an open-source software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications.

The deadly apps were simply copies of existing programs which had malware DroidDream found in them, and have been taken off the site now and recalled.

DroidDream fires sensitive data, such as a phone's unique ID number, to a remote server.

In addition the malware will check if the phone has been infected already. If it hasn't the program bypasses security controls and hands its creator access to the handset.

This means that the user can access information, including passwords for other personal things.

A Reddit user first noticed the problem after one program, which teaches people how to play a guitar on their mobile handset - was titled under the name of a publisher who didn't write it.

Lompolo discovered that the application was a carbon-copy of the original, however it had a name change and virus code added to is.

The user had worked out that the corrupted application had been downloaded between 50,000 and 200,000 times after they were placed on the Marketplace.

First of all Lompolo discovered 21 apps with the virus code - the final figure is thought to be twice as many, however, and they are still available on unofficial sites.

This bestows the ability to install any code on a phone or steal any information from it.

The latest version of the Android operating system, known as Gingerbread, is not vulnerable to the exploits DroidDream uses.

Google has suspended three accounts being used by the developer of the apps. And the company is yet to issue a formal statement about the infected applications while it completes an investigation.
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